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A Note to Our Clients – New Criminal Discovery Laws

by | Jun 1, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

New laws have been passed and are now in effect in the State of Texas, which have a major effect on the evidence you receive, as the Defendant, in your case.

Now, through the discovery process, once a timely request has been made by the Defendant, the State is required to produce copies or allow inspection of:

  1. any offense reports;
  2. any written or recorded statements made by the Defendant;
  3. any written or recorded statements made by a witness; and
  4. any written or recorded witness statements made by a law enforcement officer

which are not otherwise privileged, that contain evidence material to any matter involved in the case and that are in the possession of the State. A copy of your own statement may be provided to you; however, you may only view any witness or victim statements with the copies being retained by your attorney. Important to note, these documents are to be viewed by you, as our client, and only you.

Documents containing identifying information about victims and witnesses, however, must be redacted in order for us, as the attorney, to allow you to view the documents. You may notice that some of information in the documents have been blacked out, this is known as redaction and is required, under Article 39.14 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Information that must be redacted includes: identifying information of any victim or witness, including their name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number, social security number, date of birth, bank account information or any other information that could make it possible to identify the victim or witness.